Workgroups provide a method for easily sharing customizations among a group of people working on the same project. Anybody accessing the workgroup can take advantage of any customizations installed there, including presets, commands, operators, add-ons, shaders, toolbars, views, layouts, and more.
The Addons folder holds items that have been packaged and installed as add-ons in various subfolders. An add-on is like a small workgroup within a workgroup that helps to keep your plug-ins organized.
You can connect to multiple workgroups at the same time. The first workgroup in the list is the default path for new elements. This is the path that is used when you choose Workgroup from the Paths button in the browser. It is also the only workgroup where you can install or uninstall .xsiaddon files.
By default, Softimage tries to load the most recent version of a self-installing plug-in. For example, if your User location contains version 1.2 of a plug-in, and a workgroup contains 1.3, then Softimage loads version 1.3. If all copies of a plug-in are the same version, then Softimage uses origin ordering to resolve the conflict.
User location. Add-ons in the User location are loaded after any other plug-ins found in the User location (for example, plug-ins in %XSI_USERHOME%\Application\Plugins are loaded before plug-ins in%XSI_USERHOME%\Addons).
One workflow for using workgroups is for a developer or technical director to develop customizations in his or her user directory or a private workgroup. Once the customizations are tested and working properly, they can be copied to a shared workgroup by dragging and dropping on the Tree tab of the .
If the customizations need to be updated, the developer or technical director modifies the files in the user location or private workgroup. He or she can develop, test, and debug the customizations while everyone else still has access to the previous version in the shared workgroup. Once the changes are ready, he or she can copy the updated version to the shared workgroup.
Softimage automatically scans the workgroup paths at startup, so new or updated plug-ins will be available when users restart Softimage. Alternatively, users can click Update All on the Tree tab of the Plug-in Manager without restarting Softimage. They can also choose FileRescan on the Workgroup tab — this performs a more complete unload and reload of all the workgroups and is only necessary to ensure that the plug-ins are loaded exactly with the order of priority described in . Restarting Softimage is required only for layouts, UFOs, devices, and old-style (non-self-installing) custom commands.
Another approach is to put the workgroup in some form of version control. Users can synchronize with a stable branch and connect to the local copy, while the developer or technical director works on a development branch.
If a workgroup contains SPDL files, then make sure you have permission to install software on your machine (write access to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE section of the registry) when you first connect to the workgroup. Otherwise, SPDL files in the workgroup are not installed and hence not accessible. You also require this permission each time new SPDLs are installed to the workgroup (whether alone or as part of an add-on).
If there are any problems with SPDL files not working over the workgroup, delete the \Application\spdl.xsiindex file in the user directory. This causes a more complete reinstallation of the workgroup SPDL files when Softimage is restarted.
xsi -w $wglocation
An alternative way of managing workgroups is to store the workgroup paths to which you want to connect in a file called workgroup_path.data and then place this file in the Data folder of the Softimage installation (Factory) location or User location. Softimage automatically scans these locations at startup and if this file is found, Softimage will connect to the workgroup path of each entry it finds.
Click Move Up or Move Down until the workgroup is in the desired position. Remember that the first workgroup in the list is the default path for new elements. It is also the only workgroup where you can install or uninstall .xsiaddon files.
On the Workgroups tab of the Plug-in Manager, click to remove the check next to the workgroup's path. This is equivalent to placing an exclamation mark (!) at the beginning of the workgroup's path in your Data Management preferences.